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PRESS RELEASE: Ricoh Unveils New Solutions for Businesses to Capture, Transmit and Store Digital Images
Unique Digital Camera Allows Users To Embed Data Into Images And Transmit Those Images Over Wired Or Wireless High-Speed Networks Directly From The Camera
LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 18, 2002-- The next evolution in digital camera design was demonstrated today at COMDEX. The Ricoh RDC-i700 digital camera provides significant benefits to businesses that use digital pictures while also allowing for a host of automated end-to-end solutions not possible with traditional cameras.
Designed specifically for enterprise customers, the RDC-i700's unique features include a touch-screen interface that allows users to easily enter event-related data directly into the camera. Images captured by the camera are embedded with this information and may be sent wirelessly from the camera to destination servers where the data is used to automatically integrate the images with documents or databases.
"Digital cameras are designed for consumers. Their consumer-centric features force businesses to take excessive measures to relate images to a document and deliver them to a specific location," says Jeff Lengyel, Marketing Manager for Ricoh's Digital Camera Division. "By developing a clear understanding of how images are used by business, we were able to design a camera with business-centric features. The result is a next-generation imaging platform that relates images to documents at the time of capture, and delivers those images more efficiently."
Core to the camera's effectiveness in adding efficiency is its ability to deliver these "data-images" to servers that can extract the information and utilize it for a variety of automated processes.
For example, an insurance adjuster may enter a vehicle's license plate and a claim number into the camera using its virtual keyboard. A condition rating may be selected from a drop-down list, as well as a name of an agent to be notified of the claim. The adjuster's name is pre-set in the camera.
After a series of images are captured, they are FTPed immediately to the company's server. Upon arrival, the embedded data is used by the server to route the images into the proper claim file. The adjuster's name, plate number and condition rating are automatically converted to searchable database text. The images and text are simultaneously converted to HTML and are posted to the company's secure website for immediate browser access and long-term storage. Finally, an e-mail alert is triggered that delivers the URL of the new claim to the agent specified in the camera so that immediate claim processing can begin. These automated routines and image storage functions are generally provided by Ricoh's network of VAR's. Companies familiar with handling data and images may create their own routines.
Additional features include support for WiFi (802.11) and high-speed cellular (3G) networks so that the data-images can be delivered wirelessly via E-mail or FTP as they are captured. This allows mobile users to capture and forward the data-images directly into destination databases or to data-entry personnel, allowing for back-end processes to begin in minutes as opposed to hours or days.
"By utilizing the new high-speed wireless networks, businesses can now enjoy the economic benefits of immediacy. As a by-product, the mobile user is relieved from the burdensome tasks related to periodic or end of day offloading, management and transfer of images," says Lengyel.
The camera accepts communication cards via its PCMCIA and CF slots. A standard image can transfer in less than 10 seconds over the new 1xrtt cellular networks such as Sprint's Vision or Verizon's Express Network. High-resolution 3 mega-pixel images captured by the camera can be delivered in less than three seconds over 802.11b. The camera also connects to standard LANs or dial-up phone lines to facilitate rapid image transmission without the need for a PC or laptop.
The camera's advanced method of improving imaging related processes provides unlimited number of solutions for a multitude of industries. The camera has already been adopted in markets ranging from insurance and medical imaging to law enforcement and disaster assistance.
About Ricoh Corporation
Ricoh Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, N.J., is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company Ltd., the 66-year-old leading supplier of office automation equipment and electronics, with fiscal year 2001 sales in excess of $14 billion.
Ricoh Corporation is a leading provider of computer-connected and digital multifunctional document systems, and is a market leader in color and black & white digital imaging systems, facsimile products, printers, scanners, digital duplicators and wide format engineering systems.
The Company oversees Ricoh operations in North, Central and South America, including the Savin, Gestetner and Lanier brands. For fiscal year 2001, Ricoh Corporation sales exceeded $2.7 billion.
Ricoh Corporation has received the Energy Star Imaging Partner of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- the EPA's highest Energy Star award -- for 5 years in a row from 1996-2000. In addition, Ricoh Corporation was honored for its commitment to the environment with the Council on Economic Priorities Environmental Stewardship Award.
In December 2001, the Financial Times ranked Ricoh #7 of the "World's Most Respected Companies" among CEO's as one of those that best manage and effect environmental resources.
In 2001, Ricoh Company Ltd. was named by BusinessWeek as one of the TOP 100 Information Technology Companies in the World. Ricoh Corporation has received the Market Research Consultants Digital Copier Manufacturer of the Year Award each year from 1996 through 2001.
Information about Ricoh's complete range of products and services can be accessed on the World Wide Web at www.ricoh-usa.com.
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